To those of you who have poured Ganche:
I have done my crumb coat (White Chocolate buttercream *YUMMY*). Now, should I let that crust before I pour the ganache or does it matter? Thanks!
yes. The directions I posted should state it needs to be cold-not freezer cold but cold (I'm going to go back and make sure that's in there- because it should be- very important step- thanks for bringing it to my attention). Did you read the instructions on how to pour it? It's a one shot deal... if you don't pour it correctly and it's not impossible but next impossible to fix. make sure you can look over the top of the cake and see all sides or you may not cover it as nicely.
Whew!! It was there:
Place the iced cake in the fridge for at least 1 hour
Please be honest... if these directions aren't clear to everyone I need to reword them. Are the directions easily followed- need opinions here!
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
12 ounces heavy (whipping) cream
1 T butter
I got these instructions from LIZ W in ladycakes.com. This method has never failed me.
In a double boiler place all ingredients. If you are adding flavoring such as a liqueur, now is the time to add it also.
Leave on low heat until chips are melted. Stir gently with a spoon (no whisks used here!!) until chips are melted. At first you will think you messed up because it will be very ugly, but be patient. It will all come together soon!! At this point it will look sort of curdled or lumpy. Keep stirring gently. Be careful not to get air bubbles in to your mixture.
Keep stirring the mixture very slowly until the ingredients are a thick, dark, glossy chocolate. You will still have some streaks of cream that haven't fully mixed in and some small lumps of soft chocolate that you can't smooth without adding air bubbles. Don't worry. I promise.
OK- now comes the fun part. Using a "boat motor" mixer (I will attach a picture), hold the head below the surface of the ganache and mix to remove the final lumps. It's very important you keep the boat motor below the top of the chocolate mix at all times. If the boat motor mixer does not submerge in the chocolate, place the chocolate in a smaller bowl. But get that head under the ganache!! Other wise you will have bubbles!
Now, you will allow the mixture to cool to body temperature. You must allow it to cool to pour properly. Don't worry, it will be pourable for quite a long time after coming to body temperature. The cooling process can take up to an hour or even more, depending on your room conditions. You can remove the top pan of the double boiler and place on the counter for fasting cooling. Don't worry if your ganache develops a skin. You can gently mix it back in after cooling.
I now place my cake on a board a hint smaller than my cake. I ice the cake in buttercream (usually chocolate) with a 1/4-inch layer. I make sure my edges are crisp and sharp. Your ganache is only as good as what is beneath it. Don't pour the ganache onto an uniced cake. You will have lumps and runs!! Place the iced cake in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Do not freeze!!
Place the cold cake (still on it's small board) on a cooling rack which has been placed over a jelly roll pan. In one continuous motion, pour over the cake. If you have to stop and start over, you will have runs and streaks. I find doing this portion of the cake is easier when the cake is sitting no higher then my waist. This way I can see that I got all around the cake. Start pouring in the middle of the cake and swirl your way out to the edges. Don't worry about the wasted ganache running on to the jelly roll pan. It's all reusable.
Transfer the covered cake onto another cooling rack over another jelly roll pan. Place the cake still on the jelly roll pan in to the fridge. Leave for at least 10-15 minutes.
Once the ganache is set you can place your cake on the presentation board and finish decorating.
Great directions, Dawn! May make a suggestion? You may want to mention that it's an immersion blender - I had no idea what you were talking about until I looked at the pic, and then I understood.
Can't wait to try it!
Ok this Ganache stuff sounds heavenly, what is it? It sounds like a lot of work..... after posting this, I will look for another topic with Ganache just in case......
I used Dawn's tutorial to make the ganache covered cake I posted recently and it worked like a charm. I have made ganache before to fill cookies, but never to cover a cake. The use of the immersion blender (which I use all the time to make cream soups) is an ingenious idea! It makes the ganache much smoother.
Side note--It seems every time I make a cake, something goes wrong! I can't get through one darn cake without some small catastrophe. The end results look fine because of the decorations, but there is always an imperfection under there somewhere.
With the ganache-covered cake I made recently, all went smoothly in pouring the ganache. In fact, when it was totally covered I couldn't believe how easy it was. I just kept staring at the cake in amazement. It was so shiny and smooth! Then it came time to decorate it....
I was holding the center chocolate piece over the cake to get the positioning right, and I guess the heat from my hands started melting it because it suddenly broke (slightly) and dropped onto the cake. That would have been fine, except that my reflexes made me try to stop it from falling and I got some pretty fingerprints in the ganache. Actually, more like dents than fingerprints! I was devastated for about a minute or so, but then continued to decorate the cake and realized the dents in the ganache would be covered with piped buttercream.
Why is it that I go over every aspect of the cake making process in my head until I am sure it will go smoothly, and then wham!...something happens that I never thought of?!?
If we didn't make mistakes- we wouldn't learn from them
Cookieman!!!!! It must be in our "family genes!" Every single cake I make is also covering some flaw from my clumsiness! It never ever fails. Joan spends a lot of time laughing at me.
The ganache cake on my site only has decorations because it is covering flaws... because I dropped something (don't even remember what now) and had to decorate what I wanted to be a elegantly simple cake.
ilithiya: yes, I need to change that. I was taught boat motor and then bad habits are hard to break. OK- consider it done!!
I think I spend so much time thinking about what can go wrong that I invite "bad kharma" somewhere along the way! But I tend to think of it this way: what in this world is perfect? And so many "mistakes" turn out to be learning experiences (as m0use said) that can actually be turned into benefits.
On a totally different note, I just made some amaretto balls covered in chocolate that are to die for! Jeez...I need to get a "real" full-time job soon or I will be as big as a house and on a sugar high constantly!!!
I made the cake balls with Baileys and some with Kahlua. they were both awesome. I hadn't thought about using Amaretto. MMMMM
Ok ~ Now i am hungry and in need of the recipe. This is the cake balls that you are adding Baileys, Kahula and Amaretto too? Do you add this to the cake mix or at what point? I can't wait to try it!
I just made tha ganache about 2 hours ago...WOW!!! So incredibly easy and so incredibly good!!! And yes the 'boat motor' (immersion blender) made a huge difference. One little taste of the final product is not enough, that's for sure. I will be adding it later to my buttercream.....MMMMM, can't wait!
Thanks for the recipe!
I added the amaretto to the crumbled pieces of leftover chocolate cake I had on hand. I just winged the recipe from what I remembered of other recipes I have tried. In a bowl, I crumbled up about a cup-and-a-half of cake, mixed in a couple of tablespoons of confectioners' sugar, a healthy shot of amaretto, and some chopped almonds. I then mixed the whole thing with my very clean hands until it held together. The trick is to not let the mixture get overly moist, but not have it be dry and crumbly either. I then took a tablespoon cookie scoop and made balls out of the mixture. I let them dry out for a while on a parchement-lined cookie sheet (I let them dry for only about an hour, but idealy it should longer; even overnight) and then proceeded to dip them in melted chocolate candy melts. ( I made my own dipping fork by removing the two middle tines from a four-tined plastic spoon.) Then, back to the parchment-lined cookie sheet and into the freezer for 5 minutes to harden the chocolate shell. There you have it: chocolate-covered amaretto balls!
Wow- now I want to make some!!! I will have to add it to my list of things to try when I have time
Cake balls are very cool. You totally use left over "stuff" to make them. I once had a cake that was way over done on the edges but put perfect everywhere else- no trash for my stuff... cake balls!!
You are only limited by your imagination. I make them for children with left over buttercream in place of liqueur, or you could use the coffee syrups for added flavor.
Sounds very yummy! Thanks Cookieman ~ i'm definitely going to make some! My husband threw away one of my bags of "scraps" last night. He said "you'll never use them all". I'll have to make some of these and show him what he threw away! Can you tell me why we let them dry out?
What about packing small molds or pans with the cake ball mixture, and then coating in ganache? I bought a couple of tiny pans thinking that they wouldn't be a pain to use - boy, was I wrong! - and just had the thought that this would be perfect for both my cake trimmings and my tiny pans!
I'm assuming that the combo of the liquid + sugar acts as a binder once the balls have set and dried, right?
*wanders off making plans for Midori-lemon-lime cake balls*
Quite a tropical twist, ilithiya. Sounds great! And let us know how the small pans/molds work. The only trouble I foresee is unmolding them, since they are not baked.
Debbie--The cake balls need to set up for a while and dry a bit so that they keep their shape. The drying time also allows the flavors to meld together and become more cake-like again, and not just mushy. The drying time really depends on how much liquor/liquid you add and how moist your cake is to begin with.
Have fun everyone!
ok - so the more liquor i add the longer they have to sit...